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Beyoğlu Burger Wars: Counter Offensive

[1]Six months ago we were very concerned to see one of our favorite burger joints, Mano Burger [2], closed down. The workers gutting the place told us there was financial trouble. Someone else said they’d opened up shop on the Asian side, in Bostancı. For six months, Mano seemed to go incognito.

We were then equally puzzled a couple of weeks ago to see a new hamburger restaurant, with the same décor, menu style and a suspiciously similar logo open in the same location. We can’t speak for the food, but in the category of originality, Roll Burger scores very low.

Skulking around Beyoğlu, thinking about the injustice visited upon our friends at Mano, we turned the corner at Asmalı Mescit, and, like a mirage, saw hanging off the side of a building the sign of Mano Burger – the real Mano Burger.

We stopped in for one of their classic “Oxnard” burgers, fries and a chat with the management about what happened. In the previous location in Tünel, it seems the municipality had complaints about their ventilation system, which often left the square smelling like one big grilled patty. When they extended the chimneys up above the roof, the whirling dervish museum right behind them complained about the unpleasant view from their yard. Stuck between the angry dervishes and municipal inspectors licking their chops, the Mano team decided to leave the Tünel location and moved over to Asmalı Mescit Caddesi.

So what about Roll Burger?

Mano’s old landlord seemed to think there was still good burger-flipping potential in the shop despite its ventilator blues. [3]Apparently hoping to retain Mano’s traffic, he opened Roll Burger right on their heels. The Mano crew isn’t pleased with Roll Burger’s ambush but remains confident that it won’t hinder their business or their claim to be the best burger in town. “The flavor is here and people know that,” said Mano manager Cihad Bey.

Address: Asmalı Mescit Caddesi 7, Beyoğlu
Telephone: 212-292-7542

(photos by Ansel Mullins)

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